French Navy moves to Durban

Apr 10, 2003
Author: P&S

Two French Navy ships, the Floreal class small patrol frigate FNS Nivose (F732) and the Líaudacieuse class offshore patrol boat FNS La Boudeuse (P683) will arrive in Durban on Friday (11 April) for a short visit.

Nivose has been taking part in a humanitarian relief exercise off Naval Island (within the port of Richards Bay) earlier this week, along with another French Navy ship, the landing craft La Grandiere (L9034). All three ships are based at La Reunion in the Indian Ocean.

La Boudeuse arrives in Durban at 09.00 and will be followed later in the day at 16.00 by Nivose. It is not known how long each ship will remain in Durban and it is assumed they will berth at the South African Naval Station on Salisbury Island.

The Floreal class small patrol frigate FNS Nivose is one of six similar vessels built between 1991 and 1994 especially for French overseas service. The class is designed for offshore patrol duties, in particular sea fisheries and is built to commercial standards, making them inexpensive to operate and man. Power comes in the form of four diesel engines driving two shafts and producing 8,800 bhp for a speed of 20 knots. Displacing 2,950t, the ship has an aft deck and hangar for a Panther helicopter, extending the patrol range of each vessel range. Armament is two Exocet SSM, one 100mm DP, and two 20mm guns. The ship has a crew of 80 as well as facilities for 24 Special Forces.

La Boudeuse is one of ten offshore patrol boats built between 1986 and 1988 and displacing 454t. Driven by two diesel engines on two shafts, producing 8,000 bhp each ship has a top speed of 24.5 knots. The vessel is lightly but adequately armed for its designed purpose with a 40mm and a 20mm gun as well as two 12.7mm machine guns and carries a crew of 24 with accommodation for 20 passengers. There are two cargo holds for equipment and supplies.

The South African Navy logistics ship SAS Outeniqua (A302), which has also taken part in the exercise at Richards Bay will arrive in Durban Friday 11 April at 09.00, before sailing for Simonís Town at 16.00.

In other naval news it has been reliably learned that South African naval ships from the various naval stations and Simonís Town Naval base will take part in a large coastwise naval exercise called Exercise Red Line during August this year. No other details are available at present.

There are unconfirmed reports that the visit to southern Africa by several ships of the German Navy, reported on this site, has been cancelled.

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